In case you did not read the previous blog, I am Zach, Dr. Lee’s son. This past June, our family took a trip to Vietnam (as written in the previous blog), after our four days in Vietnam came to an end, we continued our vacation to South Korea. This visit to Korea was very special to our family because we are Koreans, and this was my sister and my first time. It had also been a very long time since my parents were last in Korea.
Throughout our stay in the motherland, we had to find a good balance of spending time with relatives but also doing tourist things and exploring the country. We stayed in the capital city, Seoul, for the first part of our trip. The modernity of the city amazed me! Each building had it’s own futuristic design! Everything was very clean, and the superb public transportation (taxis and subway) made it very easy to get around. I thought that it was more advanced than the U.S! But in the midst of the metropolis, Koreans have preserved the olden palaces where the Kings used to live hundreds of years ago. Today they remain as a historical landmark and a tourist attraction.
After visiting the historic monuments we then visited another tower called the Namsan Tower. It looks like the CN Tower in Toronto. The tower served a great view over the smoggy city of Seoul.
The weather in Korea was hot but nothing compared to what we experienced in Vietnam, so we dealt with the heat well. Koreans like to eat and walk a lot, after walking around the city, we worked up an appetite for some delicious Korean food! Korean food in Korea taste way better than Korean food made in the U.S. One thing that I thought tasted a lot better in Korea was Naengmyeon, which is cold noodle soup. Most traditional Korean foods are usually soups, some use seafood, meats, and even soy bean paste for their bases. One thing that bummed me out was that we couldn’t eat much Korean barbeque because meat is very expensive in Korea.
In Korea each restaurant has their own specialty dish that they only serve, so for dinner we would go to one restaurant to eat their specialty then another restaurant for a second dinner, and to finish off the night we would go to dessert. My favorite dessert we ate in Korea was Hotteok, it has a flaky and doughy pancake-like outside and on the inside its filled with brown sugar.
Lots of eating and tourist visits summed up “Part One” in Seoul. Then we took a bullet train to Busan, a major port city in the Southern part of the country. After a three hour train, we had arrived at our destination. We mainly spent time with my aunt and uncle who live there. They showed us around to a famous fish market called Jagalchi. There they sold everything from the sea, you could buy octopus, fish, sea urchins, sharks, and many other sea creatures. After visiting the bizarre fish market, our uncle drove us to a majestic bridge shaped like the Golden Gate Bridge, which gave a breath taking view of the Busan skyline. For our final destination our uncle and aunt took us to Haeundae beach, our visit to the beautiful beach concluded our time to Busan.
We took the bullet train back to Seoul for the final leg of our vacation. When we returned to Seoul, we had dinner with extended relatives on both my mom and dad’s side. ,We also got to visit Lotte World, it’s an amusement park (Korea’s version of Disneyland) that’s half outdoor and half indoor. ,This was my sister’s favorite part of the trip. We also got to visit Shinsegae, it is the world’s largest department store.
We were also able to go to Korean baseball game. My family and I went to go watch ex-Mariner, Dae Ho Lee, play for the Lotte Giants against the Doosan Bears. One of the many rising trends in Korea is baseball, most say its more popular than soccer, and the game we went to was a prime example. The stadium was sold out and it was so loud, unlike a typical baseball game in the states. It had the atmosphere of a NFL football game. They even had cheerleaders! It was a fun experience that I won’t forget. This concluded our unforgettable vacation to the motherland. Looking back on the trip, I had so much fun strolling the modern streets of Seoul, eating all the delicious foods, and seeing all my relatives.